US men take 4x100 freestyle gold, Phelps' 19th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

US men take 4x100 freestyle gold, Phelps' 19th

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RIO DE JANEIRO -

Michael Phelps has earned the 19th gold medal of his career, helping the United States win the 4x100-meter freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics.
    
Phelps took the second leg after Caeleb Dressel led off for the Americans, and it was another memorable performance at a distance that isn't Phelps' specialty. His split of 47.12 seconds gave the Americans a lead they never relinquished. In fact, it was a faster time than all but the three anchors on the medal-winning teams.
    
Ryan Held protected the top spot before handing off to Nathan Adrian, the top sprinter in America. It was never really in doubt at that point, as Adrian touched first in 3 minutes, 9.92 seconds. Defending Olympic champion France took the silver in 3:10.53, while Australia rallied for the bronze in 3:11.37.
    


Katie Ledecky has given the United States its first swimming gold medal of the Rio Olympics with a world record in the women's 400-meter freestyle.
    
The result was totally expected. Ledecky has dominated the longer freestyle events since winning gold in the 800 free at the London Olympics as a 15-year-old.
    
She was doing nothing but racing against the clock Sunday night. No problem there.
    
Ledecky kicked off the first wall with a lead of nearly a body length and steadily pulled away from the overmatched field - as well as the world-record line superimposed on the video screen as her powerful arms churned through the water.
    
When Ledecky saw the time - 3 minutes, 56.46 seconds - she let out an uncharacteristic scream and pumped her right fist. The 19-year-old crushed the mark of 3:58.37 that she set nearly two years ago on the Gold Coast of Australia, and had been chasing ever since.

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